Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Look at The Future of Consumer Intelligence

Understanding people (not consumers) across numerous platforms in an increasingly interconnected world mixed with always-on technology, presents an opportunity for you to know people more deeply and take strategic action. Technology is the central driving force amongst the foremost mega and macro trends across industries. In fact, it is advancing at such a fast pace that it is changing how we do things, how we understand the world, business, and even people.

This year, The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 explores the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge points - insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and intelligence with technology a central driving force and profound connector. This cutting-edge event accelerates disruptive thinking around decision science. This unique aggregation of diversity across insights, data science, marketing science, social science with technology as a common thread provokes new questions and explores new futures.

This event accelerates disruptive innovators in the research space and pushes people to take risks, to think outside of traditional research methods and explore new, alternative tools and technologies. You will see in May that FOCI will bridge the gap for you between what people say they are going to do and what they actually do.

For a look at what to expect at FOCI in a few weeks, watch the short video below:



For more information on the event, click here to download the interactive brochure: http://bit.ly/1poyewr

You get an exclusive 15% discount for being a valued reader of our blog. So use your special discount code FOCI14BLOG when you register: http://bit.ly/1rfDFuV

See you in sunny California!
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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How Scarcity Can Influence Buying Behavior

Editor’s Note: This essay is adapted from Hooked: A Guide to Building Habit Forming Products by Nir Eyal. Nir also blogs at NirAndFar.com.

There are many counterintuitive and surprising ways companies can boost users’ motivation to buy by understanding heuristics — the mental shortcuts we take to make decisions and form opinions. Even though users are often unaware of these influences on their behavior, heuristics can predict their actions.  

In 1975, researchers Worchel, Lee, and Adewole wanted to know how people would value cookies in two identical glass jars.[1] One jar held ten cookies while the other contained just two stragglers. Which cookies would people value more? 

While the cookies and jars were identical, participants valued the ones in the near-empty jar more highly. The appearance of scarcity affected their perception of value. 

There are many theories as to why this is the case. For one, scarcity may signal something about the product. If there are fewer of an item, the thinking goes, it might be because other people know something you don’t. Namely, that the cookies in the almost-empty jar are the better choice. The jar with just two cookies left in it conveys valuable, albeit irrelevant, information since the cookies are identical. Yet, the perception of scarcity changed their perceived value. 

In the second part of their experiment, the researchers wanted to know what would happen to the perception of the value of the cookies if they suddenly became scarce or abundant. Groups of study participants were given jars with either two cookies or ten. Then, the people in the group with ten cookies suddenly had eight taken away. Conversely, those with only two cookies had eight new cookies added to their jars. How would these changes affect the way participants valued the cookies? 

Results remained consistent with the scarcity heuristic. The group left with only two cookies rated them to be more valuable, while those experiencing sudden abundance by going from two to ten, actually valued the cookies less. In fact, they valued the cookies even lower than people who had started with ten cookies to begin with. The study showed that a product can decrease in perceived value if it starts off as scarce and becomes abundant. 

For an example of how perception of a limited supply can increase sales, look no further than Amazon.com. My recent search for a DVD revealed there were “only 14 left in stock,” while a search for a book I’ve had my eye on says only three copies remain. Is the world’s largest online retailer almost sold out of nearly everything I want to buy or are they using the scarcity heuristic to influence my buying behavior?

You can hear Nir speak at the upcoming Future of Consumer Intelligence Conference 2014 in Los Angeles, California.  The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 explores the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge points - insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving force and profound connector. For more information on the event, click here to download the interactive brochure: http://bit.ly/1qzXDjP

Register for FOCI and see Nir in person! http://bit.ly/1p43bWl

[1] Worchel, Stephen, Jerry Lee, and Akanbi Adewole. “Effects of Supply and Demand on Ratings of Object Value.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 32, no. 5 (1975): 906– 914. doi: 10.1037/ 0022-3514.32.5.906.


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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Privacy Engineering: What Researchers Need to Know

McAfee Chief Privacy Officer Urges Insights Pros to Own Privacy and Big Data


By Marc Dresner, IIR


“The fantastic advances in the field of electronic communication constitute a greater danger to the privacy of the individual.” 
– Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, died 1974

“Privacy is dead, and social media hold the smoking gun.” 
– Pete Cashmore, Founder and CEO of Mashable, born 1985

The fellas quoted above were, I believe, referring to opposing sides of the privacy coin: The former was talking about government surveillance of the Orwellian sort; the latter—taken from a 2009 blog post—spoke to people’s increasing compulsion to publicize their personal lives.

To distinguish between the two assumes there is a line that can be crossed, aka “informed consent.”

Privacy advocates have argued that informed consent is more or less a fallacy because the information needed to make a fully informed choice is largely inaccessible

But privacy advocates—including top security and legal experts—have argued that informed consent is more or less a fallacy, because the information needed to make a fully informed choice is largely inaccessible to the average person.

That’s “inaccessible” in three broad categories:

1.    Inaccessible by design—for legit* purposes (national security or law enforcement) and also for ethically questionable purposes (ex. Facebook’s privacy gaffes and antics).
*Sorry, but I’ll not kick the Edward Snowden beehive in this forum today.

2.    Inadvertently inaccessible, but fixable—Ex. privacy policies that can only be deciphered by lawyers or that will only be read by very patient, unusually suspicious people with lots of time on their hands.

3.    Inadvertently inaccessible, but unavoidable—the complex tangle of partnerships, affiliations, agreements and policy overlaps, oversights, contradictions, accidents, etc., that comprise our digital universe (it is called the Web, after all) make it practically impossible for someone to be completely informed of all the ways information about them may be or is being used.

The jury appears to be out when it comes to the ownership and control of all of those digital data points we generate

I’ll leave it to the intelligentsia (not used in the pejorative here) to debate whether or not we’re doomed to life in a digital panopticon, but the jury appears to be indefinitely out when it comes to the ownership and control of all of those data points we’re generating in the digital realm.

This much is clear: The privacy debate isn’t going anywhere; it’s just getting started.

People seem resigned to the fact that information about them is collected and used for purposes they aren’t aware of and might not consent to if they were

For the time being, people seem generally resigned to and even comfortable with the fact that information about them is being collected by unknown others and used in all kinds of ways for all sorts of purposes that we aren’t aware of and might not consent to if we were.

But for how long? It seems a tenuous peace at best.

I’ve attended sessions at two of FoCI’s sister events within the past six months—Foresight & Trends and Media Insights & Engagement, respectively—whose speakers warned their audiences that the sleeping giant is stirring.

All of this matters to insights jocks more than one might suppose.

Consumer researchers work hard to build and maintain respondents’ trust, and I think most would agree that there’s no privacy bugaboo in taking surveys, participating on panels, etc.

But even if transparent, double opt-in instruments are still the primary source of consumer intelligence—debatable—they’re certainly not the only source.

We have Big Data now, pulled from across the digital universe. The sheer breadth of sources without a doubt increases the likelihood that we’ve violated someone’s privacy.

As consumer insights become increasingly dependent upon and intertwined with technology, we find ourselves in a precarious position

So as the consumer intelligence field becomes increasingly dependent upon and intertwined with technology, we find ourselves in an increasingly precarious position because we cannot be guaranteed that the data we’re collecting and analyzing was captured with informed consent.

Moreover, research professionals cast in the traditional mold aren’t the only ones accessing and using these data. We’re not necessarily the gatekeepers and we can’t always know which information from even our own internal databases is being used, how and by whom.

That is the domain of the chief privacy officer, or in lieu of a CPO, typically a mishmash of IT and legal folks.
Michelle Dennedy

Enter Michelle Dennedy, VP and Chief Privacy Officer at McAfee, and co-author of “The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto: Getting from Policy to Code to QA to Value.”

Dennedy is a top authority whose credentials straddle the legal and technological aspects of data security and privacy.

She and co-authors Jonathon Fox and Thomas Finneran have developed a new model: “privacy engineering,” which endeavors to operationalize privacy and embed it in the products and processes companies use, buy, create and sell. 

“Privacy engineering is a way to build respect for information about people back into our infrastructure and to think about data from the consumer perspective”

“Privacy engineering is a way to build respect for information about people back into our infrastructure and to think about data from the consumer perspective,” Dennedy told The Research Insighter.

This is particularly important to the Future of Consumer Intelligence audience because companies are increasingly looking outside the research function to data scientists to manage Big Data.

The approach outlined in “The Privacy Engineer’s Manifesto” appears to offer a blueprint consumer researchers can use to insinuate themselves in the fundamental discussions that shape not only privacy policy and practice, but the manner and extent to which companies harness Big Data moving forward.

(Full disclosure: I have not yet read the book, but I’ve researched it thoroughly and rest assured you don’t need to be an IT specialist to understand it.) 

“At best, most companies probably leverage maybe 1-2% of the true import of data through analytics that count,” noted Dennedy.

“A lot of Big Data analytics are wrong because they fail to address the true business problem, a human problem.”

“I think a lot of these Big Data analytics are wrong or bad,” she added, “because they fail to address the true business problem, and by that I mean a human problem.”

“Researchers tend to understand the business case and how data should be leveraged,” she observed.

According to Dennedy, it’s time for researchers to step up and reach out to their counterparts in functions they may not normally work with, even if it means taking on projects outside their current purview.

“Consumer and marketing researchers become quintessentially important when they carry insights across the aisle,” Dennedy said.

“Make sure those customer insights and pain points are part of the equation from the start.”

In this podcast for The Research Insighter—the official interview series of the Future of Consumer Intelligence (FoCI) conference—Dennedy discusses:

• “Privacy engineering”—what it is and why it matters

• The problem with Big Data

• Applications and implications for large and small companies, alike

• What researchers can do today to get involved, and more!



Editor’s note: Michelle Dennedy will present “The Privacy Manifesto” at The Future of Consumer Intelligence Conference taking place May 19-21 in Universal City, California.

SAVE 15% on your registration to attend The Future of Consumer Intelligence when you use code FOCI14BLOG. 

Register here today!

For more information, please visit www.futureofconsumerintel.com

  
ABOUT THE AUTHOR / INTERVIEWER 
Marc Dresner is IIR USA’s sr. editor and special communication project lead. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Qualitative Research: If it ain't science, it's crap

Without a doubt, quantitative research is science. It involves systematic observation and experimentation to better understand consumer behaviour.

Surveys represent the bulk of our quantitative work, converting wide-ranging written and verbal, and positive and negative opinions into carefully coded numerical values that can range from -100 to 100. Neuroscience converts brain waves, skin responses, and eye-tracking behaviours into even finer grains allowing us to better understand the differences between men and women, buyers and browsers, high-income and low-income people, and so many other distinct groups of people. Big data has jumped on the science bandwagon with even more intensity. Billions and trillions of numbers can be categorized and re-categorized into untold numbers of groups and associated with untold numbers of perfectly coded, perfectly transcribed analyzable data points.

But qualitative research? That's a completely different story. To be valid and reliable, as well as reputable and respected, marketing research needs to behave as a science. Does qualitative research meet the criteria to be considered a science?

First, science is systematic. Are any of these characteristics systematic?

Delineation of precise characteristics in the selection of individual interview participants, according to demographic, psychographics, and personality characteristics such as age, gender, income, education, region, language, sociability, product usage, product opinions, and more

Preparation of standardized discussion guides to ensure consistency across multiple focus groups and multiple interviews

Standardized training of group and session leaders to avoid introducing, creating, or encouraging bias due to group think, dominant group members, reluctant group members, hostile group members or any of the wide assortment of other potential problems


Detailed understanding and selection of the tool best suited to uncover the problem at hand from among hundreds of possibilities such as grounded theory, narratology, storytelling, ethnography, shadowing, participant observation, focus groups, interviews

Detailed methods for converting non-verbal and non-numerical results into standardized data points such as coding books used for both manual and computer-assisted coding

Second, science is experimental. Are these characteristics experimental?

Preparing products in a variety of colours, shapes, sizes, formats such that research participants can be exposed to some or all of them in pre-determined orders

Examining the reliability and consistency of opinions, across people, across groups, etc, by choosing complimentary and/or contradictory research tools and research leaders

I recently spoke with a qualitative researcher who insisted that qualitative research isn't science. They insisted that qualitative researchers can't talk about data and can't use numbers except in nominal ways. Perhaps some qualitative researchers take pride in not partaking in science. Maybe it's a nice topic of discussion when it comes to talking with clients about why they should go with one method or another. Maybe my friend is wrong.

Is qualitative research is a science? I have to say yes.

Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer at Peanut Labs, a company specializing in self-serve panel sample. Annie is a methodologist focused on data quality, listening research, and survey methods. She won Best Methodological Paper at Esomar 2013, and the 2011 AMA David K. Hardin Award. Annie tweets at @LoveStats and can be reached at annie@peanutlabs.com.





Monday, April 14, 2014

Speaker Spotlight: Magnus Lindkvist

I recently sat down with Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 keynote speaker Magnus Lindkvist, Trendspotter & Futurologist, who discussed how technology is not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the world, business, and people as well as the emerging space of marketing science.

We are fortunate to have him share his critical insight with our FOCI community. This year, FOCI explores the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge points - insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving force and profound connector.

We are barraged by information - and within this sea of data we must remember to think of the problem we are trying to solve and how we can we use this convergence of information to better understand people.  Translating the new "understanding" into future opportunities means that the role of a researcher is changing. FOCI accelerates disruptive innovators in the research space and pushes people to take risks, to think outside of traditional research methods and insights gathering and explore new and alternative tools and technologies. FOCI will bridge the gap between what people say they are going to do and what they actually do.

Here is what Magnus had to say:

IIR: A big theme of this year’s conference is “humanization of data.” Why do you think understanding PEOPLE (not consumers) presents an opportunity for strategic action?

Magnus: Because people have secrets and all opportunities begin as secrets.

IIR: How is technology not only changing how we do things, but also how we understand the world, business, and people?

Magnus: It visualizes the fringes of society in a new way. Before, the mainstream was dominant by its strength in numbers. But in the ‘thoughtsphere’, a Minnesota flute tribe or Namibian upstart company can have the same perceived presence as a king or queen.

IIR: How has consumer intelligence strategy and action planning helped drive your business?

Magnus: It only helped early on as I was learning the ropes. Once you grasp the basics, you are free to challenge them known as "you-have-to-get-an-invite-to-change-music”-paradigm.

IIR: How has the role of “the researcher” changed?

Magnus: The title has been completely eroded in that everyone points ”research” these days and quotes some arcane, Googled study. But I see the role of the good researcher as having been expanded and deepened in that everything from product innovations to president reelections use research as their fuel.

IIR: Describe a situation where you’ve taken a risk or thought outside the box of tradition market research methods. How did that benefit your business?

Magnus: All available research said the book business is a dying market. I wrote three books anyway. They all failed.

IIR: Where do you see the emerging space of marketing science and role of data scientists in the next five years?

Magnus: I see a new role emerging called Chief Imagination Officer or C.Im.O.

IIR: How has the increasingly connected consumer affected market research?

Magnus: Negatively. It dilutes opinions. It’s harder to find quirky, off-the-grid people who give those valuable sideways kind of insights.

Want to hear more from Magnus in person? Join him at Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 in Los Angeles, CA in May. Magnus will be presenting a keynote entitled, “When The Future Begins - A Guide to Long-Term Thinking” on Wednesday, May 21st at 12:00 pm. To learn more about the event and register, click here: http://bit.ly/1lGi6Ur

** As a reader of our blog, you get an exclusive 15% discount on your FOCI 2014 pass. Use code FOCI14BLOG when you register **


About the Author: Amanda Ciccatelli, Social Media Strategist of the Marketing Division at IIR USA, has a background in digital and print journalism, covering a variety of topics in business strategy, marketing, and technology. Amanda is the Editor at Large for several of IIR’s blogs including Next Big DesignCustomers 1st, and ProjectWorld and World Congress for Business Analysts, and a regular contributor to Front End of Innovation and The Market Research Event,. She previously worked at Technology Marketing Corporation as a Web Editor where she covered breaking news and feature stories in the technology industry. She can be reached at aciccatelli@iirusa.com. Follow her at @AmandaCicc.
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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tweet & Win a Free Pass to The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014

Fans and followers of the The Future of Consumer Intelligence are invited to enter the Tweet & Win Contest by following @TMRE and/or visiting and tweeting with the hashtag #FOCIWIN to win one of three prizes:
  1. A complimentary pass to attend The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014
  2. A signed copy of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” by Jonah Berger
  3. A signed copy of “Hacking H(app)iness by John C. Havens

You may tweet anything you'd like regarding The Future of Consumer Intelligence but be sure to include the hashtag #FOCIWIN to be eligible to win. Every time you tweet (and the hashtag is included) you will be entered to win. Twitter discourages multiple postings of the same tweet per day, we encourage you to be creative with your entry and use the hash tag #FOCIWIN or your tweet won't count as an entry.

One winner will be chosen per item (3 chances to win). The contest ends on Monday, April 21st. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 25th on TheMarketResearchEventBlog.com and will be notified via Twitter. Please note that winning a free pass or workshop includes the pass itself and does not include travel or hotel costs.

For more information, the rules, and a set of tweets to enter click here:  http://bit.ly/1k91ja7

The Future of Consumer Intelligence 2014 explores the emerging role of decision science and the convergence of knowledge points - insights, foresights, social science, marketing science and intelligence with technology as a central driving force and profound connector. The Future of Consumer Intelligence, 
delivering the quality you've come to come to expect, from the producers of The Market Research Event.


As a loyal reader of our blog, you get an exclusive 15% off discount when you use the code FOCI14BLOG. So register today!  http://bit.ly/1k91ja7
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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Rats, Responders, or Consumers: What do we call these people?

As scientists and researchers, the lowly or lovely rat, depending on your perspective, has allowed us to research many things over the century. Rats have told us how live tissue responds to a variety of diseases and drugs. Rats have also taught us about concepts like positive reinforcement, punishment, socialization, team work, and much more. Rats have taught us so much that for a long time, we used the same vernacular in our research with human rats, or ‘subjects’ as we more kindly referred to them.

Over time, we realized that even that kind term wasn't as nice as what we’d been led to believe. The term ‘subjects’ still seemed to infer that humans were disposable live samples to be treated and mistreated however we desired. Clearly, treating our moms, granddads, and loved ones as subjects didn't feel right.

In recent years, we've worked hard to find words that more aptly described what we perceived the relationship between research and human subject to be. We sought words that focused more on the contributions our humans made, on the respect and trust we have in them, on the effort and passion they've gladly given us. We stumbled over words like responders, participants, consumers, and people, each one of them lacking in various ways to truly describe what really takes place.

But have we ever asked the human subject what they wanted to be called? I hazard a guess that for most people, the answer is no! Recently, I had the opportunity to do just that. I was able to simply ask a human subject what they wish to be called. And the answer was surprisingly simple.

“Call me your client.” Full stop.

That never occurred to me before.

But really, when you think about it, aren't people, responders, participants, humans, consumers really our clients? We conduct all this marketing research to provide better products and services for them. Which means, of course, that they are our clients. How did it take me decades to get to that answer? I really don’t know but at least now I have a good answer.


And on that note, perhaps I will pop into a #FOCI14 presentation by Kelley Peters, Neil Fleming, and Emily Stern of Post Foods when they discuss how consumers are people too.

Annie Pettit, PhD is the Chief Research Officer at Peanut Labs, a company specializing in self-serve panel sample. Annie is a methodologist focused on data quality, listening research, and survey methods. She won Best Methodological Paper at Esomar 2013, and the 2011 AMA David K. Hardin Award. Annie tweets at @LoveStats and can be reached at annie@peanutlabs.com.
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Monday, April 7, 2014

Four Consumer Segments of the Modern Shopping World

Shopping seasons often fall around holiday seasons, and absorb anywhere from weeks to months of our time as shoppers and consumers, and even more so if for marketers. The season evokes the anxiety, well pondered over in days when brands battled for loyal consumers.


On drawing comparisons between the online and offline world, alongside the regularity of last minute versus planned shoppers, a two by two matrix on uncovering four shopping personalities can be deduced. Let’s call it The Timed Shopping Framework, since it can apply to any phase of life when we have to shop with a deadline.

The full length version of this post can be read on: Where does Online Shopping leave Glamorous Window Displays?

Holiday Shopping Framework @sssourabh
Bandwidth Basher
Purchasing Power: High. It’s unlikely that these shoppers will be looking for deals, but are more in a frantic rush to buy something while multitasking a busy corporate or bustling alternative life; thus the restraint from going in stores.
Retailer Benefit: Shipping fees. Consumers in this segment may be blind to free shipping coupons in all the haste, so retailers can gobble up any margins on those exorbitant overnight fees.

Strategic Sprawler
Purchasing Power: Moderate. These shoppers will likely have scouted the deals, almost as early as Black Friday and Thanksgiving. Being deal hunters, it’s not to say they are budget battlers: rather the contrary, they are likely to spend in volume. Call them indecisive, or on the other spectrum, simply smart with a cool variety of friends.
Retailer Benefit: Volume purchase and loyalty. It’s likely that these shoppers will seek deals with enough prowess to use coupon codes or minimum purchase requirements to benefit retailers, either with volume or future loyalty.
  
Methodical Maneuverer
Purchasing Power: Moderate. These are traditional shoppers that would rather drive to the stores come fall, and load up their trunks and rear seats with less shopping on a periodic basis. And they never forget the wrapping, bows, cards and frills. These shoppers either have a sense of detail, or are simply preventing an anxiety attack, as per a former framework.
Retailer Benefit: Traditional store sales, which as we all know, may not be real value sales, but well marketed ones. Nonetheless, courtesy of methodical research, retailers should not expect these consumers to be strong spenders.

Splurging Sprinter
Purchasing Power: High. These shoppers have simply had no time in bustling lives, and tend to leave things to the last minute. With about half of their preferred selections disappearing off shelves, they are likely to be struck by anxiety and spend more than they need. Sans details, they may skip the frills and even ask for gift wrapped gifts altogether! Just beware that these folks may be struck by stress more often than not; even in public.
Retailer Benefit: Revenues from last minute shopping. Retailers can expect high spending from these consumers, with a slight dose of stress depending on the level of shopper persistence. It will be easy to entice them with leftover, often non-sale items, or with stocking stuffers.

Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.





Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Millennial Problem in Market Research

When you talk to colleagues in Market Research and Consumer Insights about how they started in the Industry, how many times have you heard the phrase, “I just kind of fell into it”? Honestly, I’ve heard this phrase more often that I would have liked throughout the years. I recently attended a Market Research event and heard the same phase repeated again. So I just finally had to ask, “Why?”

Is it perhaps because for lack of better terms, a defined career path for Market Research in college? Universities have Accounting, Math, and Science departments, but the overwhelming majority do not have Marketing Research departments or offer degrees in Marketing Research.

Maybe it’s due to a general lack of awareness of our trade among the public? Or perhaps it’s due to the nature of the work and the skill set required? Whatever the reason, the “just fell into it” phenomenon is a foreseeable problem for our industry that is expected to add 32% more Research Analysts over the course of the next decade. And who are likely to fill these roles? Why, Millennials of course. 

“Intense interest and behavior of young people can improve our research." ~ Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP



And Millennials are a perfect fit for our industry. They are the first generation that has lived with the internet since birth. They are technically savvy in so many aspects and have a fantastic set of interactive, adoptive & digital skills. With such a set of appealing traits, are we as an Industry expecting them to “just fall into” the trade as well? Or are we recruiting and training the brightest, most intelligent, most curious young individuals that we can? If we are participating in the former, our industry is in for quite a shock.

A recent poll among Millennials revealed they want to work for prestigious online / tech firms like Google, Apple, Facebook, & Microsoft. These firms are likely perceived to be creative, innovative and push the technological envelope. Likewise, these same firms want Millennials to work for them for similar reasons, and are recruiting top talent among the best colleges throughout the nation.

So if Millennials want to work with top tech companies, and these same companies are recruiting top talent like crazy, where does that leave our Industry in obtaining top talent? According to Martin Sorrell, Chief Exectuve Officer of WPP (parent company of Kantar, TNS, Millward Brown & Added Value) we are desperately in need of this talent. “Intense interest and behavior of young people can improve our research and make it more accepted. And right now our industry has the need for more skills in programming, data, & digital.”

It’s evident we have a need for Millennials, but do they have a need for us? Is our Industry perceived as innovative, creative, and technologically savvy in the eyes of Millennials? Enough to join? Only time will tell since not a single Top 50 Honomichl Company made their preference list. (Please comment below)   

MrChrisRuby is an award-winning expert Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Executive who has consulted with several Fortune 500 companies.  He is passionate about augmenting product development, the customer experience & corporate revenue. Follow MrChrisRuby on Twitter @MrChrisRuby, email him at mrchrisruby@gmail.com or read The Market Research Insider blog.





Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Crowdsourcing and Social Media Marketing: Is there more than selfie or hashtag creativity?

Evolving is the bettering or worsening of a sturdy phenomenon. Change is a more radical spin on the very same. But when it comes to social media habits, it is tricky to discern what is evolutionary and what is truly changing. Of 6 social media habits discussed previous on my blog, crowdsourcing comes up as relevant for marketing research. And why no, it is essentially based on the same principles of asking, listening, gathering. However, is there more to social media marketing than the surge of selfie and hashtag creativity? 

Crowdsourcing


Now that brands are all over Instagram and HBO is on Snapchat, consumers can expect to engage more with their brands on social than ever before. Tag them for coupons, like them for access, Instagram them for prizes or sneak previews, and eventually, engage with them like friends so as to passively provide them with growth strategies that come directly from the consumer’s mouth. Take the affair of social media with fashion week as a case in point. Truly, crowdsourcing at its best.


Selfie Creativity

The coining of Selfie Olympics on Twitter has shown that the selfie phenomenon will not langusih, especially since the iPhone 5S has an exemplary front facing camera, which, let’s get real, was not only for facetime or videochat. With cold selfies trending during the Polar Vortex, and people risking frostbite for the perfect selfie, the creativity will continue to rise… through reflections, acrobatic bathroom antics, and even a foray into the lives of those otherwise respected.

Hashtag Creativity

Events and conferences marvel at the connectivity and knowledge sharing prowess of hashtags and networking. But besides events, tv shows, and organizational hashtags, these have shown to be useful in drawing people together for absurd phenomenons too. Examples include a user created trend called #Walmartfights to share nationwide happenings on the anxious Black Friday. The most tragic of interpretations was developing nations’ kids reading out quotes tagged with the ironic phrase #firstworldproblems, probably the most tear jerking iconic display of hashtag displacement.




On the quest for content, brands and marketers will need to try and swim through the modern equivalent of fan mail (which is useful, gratifying and priceless, nonetheless!) to gather relevant insight.


Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh. - See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.DwQUug1X.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh. - See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.DwQUug1X.dpuf
- See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/#sthash.uwXVqr8E.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh.
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh. - See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.DwQUug1X.dpuf
Sourabh Sharma, Communication & Social Media Research Expert at SKIM, an international consultancy and marketing research agency, has a background in engineering, marketing and finance from the University of Pennsylvania, and the Wharton School and Rotterdam School of Management. Having worked in marketing and product development at L’Oreal, followed by a stint in management consulting, he now passionately enjoys the world of social media, and can be found on every platform with his alias sssourabh. He is a food critic and a fashion writer, and documents these alongside strategy on his blog called 3FS. He may be reached at s.sharma@skimgroup.com. Follow him on @sssourabh. - See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/2013_03_01_archive.html#sthash.DwQUug1X.dpuf
- See more at: http://themarketresearcheventblog.iirusa.com/#sthash.uwXVqr8E.dpuf